Sample pages 2 PDF

Sample pages 2 PDF
2
Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
One of the core principles of Microsoft Dynamics AX is to grant an intuitive and
smooth user experience. But business software has to be in line with business
processes, which may be quite complex.
2.1
User Interface and Common Tasks
Before we start to go through business processes and case studies, we want to take
a look at the general functionality in this chapter.
2.1.1
Logon and Authentication
Microsoft Dynamics AX in version 7.0 is a cloud-based solution, requiring to logon
with a Microsoft Azure Active Directory user account (Microsoft Office 365
account). In order to log on, open a supported web browser like the Internet
Explorer or Google Chrome and access the web address (URL) of your
Dynamics AX application. The browser then shows the logon dialog, where you
have to enter your Azure Active Directory user and password.
After logging on, the user-ID in Dynamics AX, the current company (legal entity),
and the language derive from your user options, which you can change within the
client.
Parameters in the web address of the Dynamics AX application can override the
user settings and provide additional options. The web address
https://XXX.com/?&cmp=FRSI&lng=fr (XXX.com = Dynamics AX URL) for example
provides access to the company “FRSI” in French language.
If you want to log off from Dynamics AX, click the user name (or the button
the right-hand side of the Dynamics AX navigation bar and select Sign out.
2.1.2
) on
Navigation
There are four ways to access pages and forms in Microsoft Dynamics AX:




Dashboard and workspaces
Navigation pane
Navigation search
Favorites
The Dynamics AX dashboard (see section 2.1.3) is the default initial page when
accessing Microsoft Dynamics AX. Since it contains all workspaces which are
available to the current user, you can use the dashboard for navigating to
workspaces. From the workspaces you can subsequently access list pages and
detail forms.
© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016
A. Luszczak, Using Microsoft Dynamics AX,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-658-13622-2_2
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2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
2.1.2.1 Navigation Pane
Whereas workspaces and favorites contain a limited number of menu items for
frequent use, the navigation pane provides access to all items for which you have
got appropriate permissions.
In order to show the complete navigation pane, press the keyboard shortcut Alt+F1
or click the button
(Navigation pane) on the left-hand side of the Dynamics AX
client. If all modules and menu items are shown, the Dynamics AX navigation
pane includes following elements (see Figure 2-1):







Navigation bar [1]
Navigation pane [2]
Favorites [3]
Recent [4]
Workspaces [5]
Modules [6]
Menu for the selected module [7]
If you want to show the navigation pane permanently, click the button
(Pin) on
the top right-hand side of the navigation pane. In case you want to collapse the
navigation pane after pinning it open, click the button
(Collapse) then shown on
the top right-hand side of the navigation pane.
Figure 2-1:
Navigation pane and menu in Dynamics AX
2.1.2.2 Modules and Menu Structure
The structure of the modules complies with functional areas like Accounts payable
or Production control and refers to standard roles in the industry. The modules
2.1 User Interface and Common Tasks
7
Organization administration and System administration include basic settings and
tasks which are not related to a specific functional area.
The Common module contains menu items not related to a functional role, but
relevant for all users. This includes the Global address book (see section 2.4), the Work
items (workflow management, see section 10.4.2), the Cases (see section 10.5.2), the
Activities (referring to sales and marketing), and the Document management (see
section 10.5.1).
After selecting a module, the menu shows all accessible menu items of this
module. The particular folders and menu items, which are depending on the
individual module, comply with a common basic structure.
The first folder in the menu is the folder Workspaces, containing all workspaces
related to the selected module. This folder is not shown if the selected module does
not include a workspace. Below the workspaces, there are several folders and
menu items providing access to pages for frequent tasks in the particular module
(e.g. the vendor management in the Accounts payable module).
The folder Inquiries and reports contains items for reporting and analysis. Inquires
show the result directly on the screen, whereas reports generate a printout on
paper. If you do not need a printed hard copy, you can select to display a print
preview or to save the report to a file.
The folder Periodic tasks contains items, which are not used frequently – for
example the menu items for month end closing or summary updates.
Depending on the module, one or more Setup folders provide access to
configuration data of the particular module. Configuration data are entered when
initially setting up a company (legal entity). Later on, configuration data are only
updated if necessary because of changes in the business processes. Some settings
should not be changed without a deep knowledge of the Dynamics AX
functionality. For this reason, the permissions for the Setup folders usually are set
in a way that regular users cannot edit sensible configuration data.
2.1.2.3 Recent Pages
The folder Recent in the navigation pane shows the last workspaces and pages
which you have visited. Dynamics AX automatically adds menu items to this
folder from your browsing history, which makes it easy to go back to a form
recently visited.
2.1.2.4 Navigation Search
The navigation search provides the option to directly access menu items by typing
part of the name (similar to the search feature in Windows 8/10).
In order to use the navigation search, click the button
(Search) in the navigation
bar and enter the page title or navigation path in the search field. You can limit the
entered text to the first characters of the words of a page title or navigation path.
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2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
For example, typing “al pu” in the navigation search shows the page All purchase
orders as first result. Selecting a menu item in the navigation search results will
open the related page.
Figure 2-2:
Using the navigation search
2.1.2.5 Favorites and Shared Links
Whereas modules and related menu items in the navigation pane show a uniform
structure, the Dynamics AX favorites provide the option to collect menu items
according to your particular requirements.
If you want to add a workspace or a page to your Dynamics AX favorites, open the
navigation pane to show the particular menu item and click the empty star
on
the right of the menu item. A full star
on the right of the menu item then
indicates that it is included in the favorites.
Once a menu item is added to the favorites, it automatically shows in the favorites
area at the top of the navigation pane. If you want to remove an item from the
favorites, click the star
on the right of the menu item in the favorites pane.
Figure 2-3:
Managing favorites in Dynamics AX
Apart from the favorites within Dynamics AX, you can use shared links to access
Dynamics AX forms. In every list page or form, there is the button
OPTIONS/Share/Get a link in the action pane. A dialog then shows the web address
of the current form, which you can copy and send to other users of your
Dynamics AX application. Of course you can also use this link together with
general features of your browser and add it to the browser favorites or the browser
start page tiles.
2.1 User Interface and Common Tasks
9
2.1.2.6 Switching the Current Company
If you want to switch from one legal entity to another, open the lookup for
switching companies by clicking the company field in the navigation bar. After
selecting a company in the lookup, Dynamics AX immediately switches to the
other company.
Figure 2-4:
Switching the current company
2.1.2.7 New in Dynamics ‘AX 7’
With the browser-based interface replacing the Windows client, there are
completely new options for navigating Dynamics AX. Apart from minor
modifications in the menu structure, which eliminate the rigid structure of the
Common and the Setup folder in various modules, core changes include the
dashboard (replacing the role center), the workspaces, and the navigation search.
There is no Dynamics AX address bar, but you can use the address bar of your
browser. The favorites now do not support creating a personal menu structure.
2.1.3
Elements of the User Interface
Microsoft Dynamics AX contains following types of standard pages:





Dashboard
Workspaces
List pages
Detail and transaction forms
Journals, inquiries and setup forms
This section explains the elements available in these pages.
2.1.3.1 Dashboard
As start page in Dynamics AX, the dashboard displays all your workspaces to give
an overview of the work you should do by. Clicking a workspace tile, e.g. Budget
planning in Figure 2-5, provides access to the related workspace.
The default dashboard contains following areas (compare Figure 2-5):





Navigation bar [1] – Described below
Company banner [2] – As specified in the company setup (see section 10.1.4)
Navigation pane [3] – Collapsed in Figure 2-5
Calendar and Work items [4]
Workspaces [5]
The calendar in the dashboard highlights the Session date, which is used as default
value for the posting date in the current session. The initial value for the session
date is the current date, but through the dashboard calendar (or the menu item
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2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
Common> Common> Session date and time) you can temporarily set it to a different
date.
The work items pane below the calendar in the dashboard refers to the workflow
management (see section 10.4.2).
Figure 2-5:
Dynamics AX dashboard
When working in a workspace or a form, you can always return to the dashboard
(initial page) by clicking the button
on the left side of the navigation bar.
Note: In your user options, you can select to use an alternative page (e.g. the
employee self-service portal) as initial page instead of the dashboard.
2.1.3.2 Navigation Bar
The navigation bar at the top of every Dynamics AX form contains following
buttons for global Dynamics AX features (see Figure 2-6):








Go to dashboard [1] – Return to the initial page
Navigation search [2] – See section 2.1.2
Company select [3] – See section 2.1.2
Show messages [4] – See section 2.1.4
Settings [5] – User options and other general settings
Help [6] – See section 2.1.6
Feedback [7]
User [8] – For signing out
Apart from the User options (see section 2.3.1), the options in the button (Settings)
include the Task recorder (see section 10.5.3) and the Dynamics AX product
information (button About).
2.1 User Interface and Common Tasks
Figure 2-6:
11
Navigation bar in Dynamics AX
2.1.3.3 Workspaces
Workspaces are designed as starting point for the daily work in Dynamics AX.
They are pages which collect all the information and functionality required to
perform a specific job. The workspace Purchase order receipt and follow-up (see
Figure 2-7) for example shows a list of delayed receipts in the center. In addition, it
provides access and indicates the number of not invoiced orders, and it includes
other data areas through tiles on the right and on the left.
Figure 2-7:
Workspace for purchase order receipt and follow-up
You can view and access all workspaces, for which you have got appropriate
permissions, from the dashboard and from the navigation pane. The workspace
panorama then contains the following panes (compare Figure 2-7):




Summary pane [1]
Tabbed list pane [2]
Optional further panes [3]
Related links [4]
The tabbed list pane [2] in the center of a workspace is the main place for the daily
work. After selecting a list in the left area [5] of this pane, the grid in the right [6]
displays the related list of records. The filter field above the grid provides the
option to apply a record filter. Clicking a key field shown as link in the grid
immediately opens the related detail form. Depending on the particular
workspace, there are buttons for executing actions in the action pane [7] and – if
applicable – in the toolbar above the grid in the tabbed list pane.
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2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
The summary pane [1] on the left-hand side contains tiles for starting new tasks or
accessing pages which are important in connection with the selected workspace
(e.g. purchase orders in Figure 2-7). Tiles in this pane – like tiles in general – are
rectangular buttons which open pages (like a menu item button) and optionally
show data like counts or key performance indicators.
Depending on the particular workspace, there are further panes [3] to the right of
the tabbed list pane, which contain tiles, charts, or graphs. The right-most pane [4]
in the workspace contains links to pages which are related to the selected
workspace.
2.1.3.4 List Page
A list page, like the customer page in Figure 2-8, shows the list of records of a
particular table. While list pages are primarily designed for viewing and selecting
records, buttons in the action pane provide the option to execute tasks on these
records immediately.
Figure 2-8:
Customer list page as an example of a list page
List pages have a common structure, containing different elements and features
depending on the data shown in the particular page. The common structure
includes following basic elements:
 Action pane [1] – Contains the action buttons
 View/Edit mode banner [2] – Displays in view mode, indicating that editing
data is not possible in this mode
 Filter options [3] – Filter button and quick filter field (see section 2.1.5)
 Grid [4] – Displays the list of records
 Grid check boxes [5] – Enable selecting multiple or – if selecting the checkbox
in the header line – all records
2.1 User Interface and Common Tasks
13
 Scroll bar [6] – Scroll through records or press the shortcut keys PgUp, PgDn,
Ctrl+Home and Ctrl+End
 FactBoxes [7] – Show a summary of additional information related to the
selected record (e.g. the primary address of the selected customer)
Clicking the button Edit in the action pane changes the page mode to edit mode,
which gives the option to immediately update record data.
If the full action pane is displayed and you need additional space, you can collapse
it by clicking the button
(Collapse) on the bottom right of the action pane. Once
collapsed, the action pane will expand automatically when clicking an action pane
tab (e.g. CUSTOMER in Figure 2-8). In order to show the full action pane
permanently, click the button
(Pin open) on the bottom right of the action pane
when expanded.
If a page does not show the FactBoxes pane and you want to view it, click the
button
(Show) top right of the grid. By clicking the button
(Hide) at the same
place you can hide the FactBoxes again. A general setting for activating or
deactivating the FactBoxes pane is available in the system administration (System
administration> Setup> Client performance options).
List pages do not automatically refresh, if data displayed on the screen change in
the database (e.g. if somebody is working on the records displayed in the list). In
order to refresh a list page, press the keyboard shortcut Shift+F5 or click the button
(Refresh) in the action pane (or use the refresh options of your browser).
2.1.3.5 Action Pane and Action Search
The action pane contains buttons for activities referring to the selected record (like
entering the order of a customer) and buttons for access to related detail forms
(displaying more information). The number and functionality of buttons, which
can show on show on multiple tabs (e.g. the action pane tabs CUSTOMER or SELL
in Figure 2-8), is depending on the particular page. If the window size does not
allow to show all action pane tabs, the button
provides access to the tabs not
shown immediately.
On the top right of the action pane, there are buttons for general options including
Open in Microsoft Office
(see section 2.2.2), Attach
(document handling, see
section 10.5.1), Refresh
, Open in new window
(described later in the current
section), and Close .
The action search provides the option to directly access buttons in the action pane
by typing part of the name. In order to use the action search, click the button
(Search) in the action pane (or press the shortcut key Alt+Q) and enter the action
title or action pane button path in the search field. Like in the navigation search,
you can limit the entered text to the first characters of the words of the name. As an
example for using the action search, you can quickly access the customer balance
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2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
from the customer list page by pressing the shortcut key Alt+Q, typing “b”, and
pressing the Enter key.
2.1.3.6 Detail Form for Master Data
Unlike list pages, which are designed for viewing a list of records, detail forms are
there for inserting and modifying individual records.
Clicking a key field shown as link in the grid of a list page (or pressing the Enter
key when the field is active) opens the related detail form. Alternatively, you can
access a detail form by clicking the button Page options/Change view/Details view on
tab OPTIONS in the action pane of a list page.
Figure 2-9:
Elements of a detail form on the example of the customer detail form
Detail forms have got a structure which is similar to list pages, and like in list
pages the specific elements and functions are depending on the particular form.
Figure 2-9 shows the customer detail form (accessed from the list page Accounts
receivable> Customers> All customers) as example for the structure of detail forms.
The common structure of detail forms includes the following basic elements:
 Action pane [1] – Collapsed in Figure 2-9.
 View/Edit mode banner [2] – Indicates whether you are in view mode
 Filter button and List button [3] – Open a pane for entering a filter and/or
displaying a list of records
2.1 User Interface and Common Tasks
15
 Fast tabs [4] – Group fields according to their functional area and show
summary fields, which display core data directly on the tab. In Figure 2-9, the
fast tab Invoice and delivery for example shows the terms of payment “N30”. You
can expand fast tabs by clicking the particular tab. A right-hand click on a tab
provides the option to expand or collapse all tabs at the same time.
 FactBoxes [5] – Show additional information (like in a list page)
The button
(Show/Hide list) [3] provides the option to view a list of records in
detail forms. After clicking this button in a detail form, Dynamics AX displays a
navigation list pane on the left-hand side of the form. Selecting a record in the
navigation list immediately shows the related detail data, which makes it easy to
move from one record to the next.
Section 2.1.4 later in this book contains more information on editing records,
working with fast tabs, and other options available in list pages and detail forms.
In order to return from a detail form to the list page, use the Back button of your
browser, or press the shortcut Alt+Back Arrow (or the Esc key), or click the button
(Close) in the action pane.
2.1.3.7 Detail Form for Transaction Data
In addition to the detail forms for master data as described above, Dynamics AX
contains detail forms for transaction data (like the sales order form in Figure 2-10).
Figure 2-10:
Sales order form as example of a transaction detail form
Clicking a key field shown as link in the grid of the particular list page (e.g. the
sales order list page Sales and marketing> Sales orders> All sales orders) opens the
transaction detail form similar to opening a master data detail form from a list
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2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
page as described above. When accessing a transaction detail form, it shows the
Lines view where you can view or edit the lines.
In the toolbar [3] of the tab Lines, there are buttons for executing actions on the
selected line – for example deleting a line by clicking the button Remove. The action
pane [1] at the top of the form provides the option to execute actions at header
level – for example deleting a complete order by clicking the button Delete.
If you want to edit details not shown in the line grid, expand the fast tab Line
details [4]. In order to structure the field display, the line details tab contains
multiple sub-tabs.
The lines view shows basic header data in the tab Header. Clicking the button
Header [2] below the action pane (or pressing the shortcut key Ctrl+Shift+H) opens
the header view, which contains all fields of the header record. In the header view,
the button Lines below the action pane (shortcut key Ctrl+Shift+L) takes you back to
the lines view.
2.1.3.8 Inquiries and Setup Forms
In comparison to detail forms, inquiries and setup forms show a simple layout.
Dynamics AX contains following simple forms:
 Simple list – Plain grid without fast tabs, e.g. the customer groups (Accounts
receivable> Setup> Customer groups).
 Simple list and Details – Detail form always showing a navigation list pane
with the list of records on the left, e.g. the terms of payment (Accounts receivable>
Payment setup> Terms of payment).
 Parameter form – Showing a table of contents (similar to the tab structure) on
the left and related fields on the right, e.g. the accounts receivable parameters
(Accounts receivable> Setup> Accounts receivable parameters).
2.1.3.9 Connected Browser Windows
Sometimes it is convenient to use connected windows in order to see related
information side by side, for example if you want to scroll through the vendor
transactions per vendor.
In the example of vendor transactions, open the vendor list page (Accounts payable>
Vendors> All vendors) and click the button VENDOR/Transactions/Transactions in the
action pane. In the vendor transactions, click the button
(Open in new window)
which will move the vendor transactions to a new browser window. This new
browser window is dynamically linked to the main Dynamics AX browser
window, which shows the previous form (the vendor list page in the example).
Moving from one vendor to another in the main window then automatically
updates the data shown in the new transaction window.
2.1 User Interface and Common Tasks
17
2.1.3.10 New in Dynamics ‘AX 7’
Based on the design principles required for the browser-based user interface, the
new release has a “flat” design. This means that all forms show in the main
browser window (not opening a separate window per form like in AX 2012).
Client forms now include the action search and the edit mode in list pages. The
navigation list pane in detail forms replaces the AX 2012 grid view. There is no
command bar, no preview pane, and no status bar. General options of the former
command bar are now available in the navigation bar, form-specific features in the
tab OPTIONS of the action pane. Cues in AX 2012 role centers are replaced by tiles
in workspaces.
2.1.4
Working with Records
Microsoft Dynamics AX supports working with the mouse, but also offers
extensive support for keyboard usage. Apart from shortcut keys, the navigation
search and the action search enable fast data entry without using the mouse. An
overview of shortcut keys for executing basic operations in Dynamics AX is
included in the appendix of this book.
2.1.4.1 Viewing Records
When accessing a menu item from the navigation pane or through a tile in a
workspace, Dynamics AX shows the appropriate list page.
List pages are the starting point for working on items, giving you the possibility to
search and filter records. Buttons in the action pane of the list page provide the
option to edit, delete, and insert data according to your permissions.
Whereas a list page only contains a limited number of fields, the detail form shows
all available fields of the record. In order to access the detail form after selecting a
line in the list page, click the key field shown as link in the grid.
Fast tabs on detail forms expand by clicking them or by pressing the Enter key. If
you want to collapse an individual tab, click the tab header again or press the
shortcut key Alt+0. Further options are available through a right-hand click on a
tab. If you select to expand all tabs, you can scroll through the complete record
(e.g. with your mouse wheel). Some tabs contain less important fields, which are
not shown immediately when expanding the tab. The link Show more fields in such
tabs provides the option to show these fields.
2.1.4.2 Edit/View Mode
When accessing a list page, it always opens in view mode which prevents data to
be changed unintentionally. Detail forms usually also open in view mode, but this
is depending on the settings of the form. In view mode, a banner below the action
pane indicates that editing data is not possible.
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2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
If you are in view mode and want to edit a record, switch to the edit mode by
clicking the button Edit in the action pane or by pressing the F2 key. If you already
change to the edit mode in a list page and access the related detail form afterwards,
the detail form will open in edit mode. In order to return to the view mode, press
the F2 key again or click the button OPTIONS/Edit/Read mode in the action pane.
If you want to start a particular form always in edit mode, click the button
OPTIONS/Personalize/Always open for editing in the action pane of the form. In case
you want to set your general default mode to Edit or View, choose the appropriate
setting on the tab Preferences of your user options.
2.1.4.3 Inserting Records
In order to insert a record in a list page or a detail form, press the shortcut key
Alt+N or click the button New in the action pane. In some workspaces, you can also
create records (there is an appropriate button in the action pane in this case).
A Quick create dialog (see Figure 2-11) then shows on the right-hand side of the
form. This dialog contains the core fields of the record, making it possible to insert
records in a fast way. After clicking the button Save at the bottom of the dialog,
Dynamics AX opens to the related detail form where you can enter additional data.
Depending on the page, the Save and open button contains additional options – e.g.
for switching to the sales quotation form immediately when creating a customer.
Figure 2-11:
Quick create dialog for entering a new customer
If no Quick create dialog is available for a particular page, Dynamics AX takes you
to the related detail form showing an empty record for entering data (except if you
apply a template as described in section 2.3.2).
2.1 User Interface and Common Tasks
19
In the lines of a transaction form (e.g. the sales order lines), you can create a new
record by simply pressing the Down Arrow key from the last line of the grid.
2.1.4.4 Editing Data
Before you can edit a record in a list page or detail form, you have to make sure
that you are in the edit mode. In order to switch between the fields of the form, you
can use the mouse, the Tab key, or the Shift+Tab shortcut key.
If you have started to insert a record which contains a mandatory field and you
want to stop, you might have to delete the record as described below even if you
did not enter anything. Alternatively, you can close the form without saving by
pushing the Esc key. If you are in a Quick create dialog, click the button Cancel at the
bottom.
You can manually save a record in list pages and detail forms by clicking the
button Save in the action pane or by pressing the shortcut key Alt+S (or Ctrl+S). But
it is not required to save a record explicitly. Dynamics AX saves every change of a
record automatically when leaving the record – switching to another record, or
closing the form using the Back button of the browser, or the button
(Close) in
the action pane of the form. If you close a form pressing the Esc key, a dialog asks
whether you want to save the changes.
If you have entered or modified data and do not want to save the update, press the
shortcut key Ctrl+Shift+F5 or click the button OPTIONS/Edit/Revert in the action
pane. Reversing restores the record from the database and is only available as long
as you do not save the record (manually or by moving to another record).
Another option not to save changes is to close the form by pressing the Esc key or
the shortcut key Alt+Shift+Q (as long as you did not save the record already).
2.1.4.5 Deleting Data
In order to delete the content of an input field, press the Delete key. If you want to
delete a complete record, click the button Delete in the action pane or press the
shortcut key Alt+F9 after selecting the particular record.
In some cases, Dynamics AX shows an error message preventing you from deleting
a record – e.g. if there are open transactions.
2.1.4.6 Elements in a Detail Form
When entering data in a form, you have to distinguish between following elements
as shown in Figure 2-12 on the example of the bank accounts detail form (Cash and
bank management> Bank accounts):
 Field group [1] – Groups fields by functional area to provide a logical structure.
 Mandatory field [2] – Shows a red frame and the required field indicator ,
requiring data input before you can save the record.
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2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
 Slider [3] – Sliders (as shown in Figure 2-12) and checkboxes are used in fields
with a binary choice (Yes/No). In order to select a checkbox or set a slider to
“Yes”, click it with the mouse or press the Space bar key once the cursor is on the
field.
 Date field [4] – The format of date and number fields is specified on the tab
Preferences of your user options. Date fields show the calendar icon
for
selecting a particular date. If entering a date manually, you don’t have to type
date separators like “.” or “/”. For a date in the current year, simply enter the
day and month (e.g. “0523” if using the US date format). In order to insert the
current date, simply type “t” (or “d” for the session date).
 Lookup field with a fixed list of values [5]
 Lookup field with a related main table [6]
Figure 2-12:
Types of fields on the example of the bank account detail form
2.1.4.7 Lookup Fields and Table Reference
In a lookup field, you can only enter or select a value which is included in a
predefined list of values. Related to the setup of this list of values, there are two
types of lookup fields:
 Lookup fields with a related main table, which contains permitted values –
e.g. Bank groups in Figure 2-12.
 Lookup fields with a fixed list of values, which is given by Dynamics AX
enumerable types (Enums) – e.g. Bank account status in Figure 2-12.
2.1 User Interface and Common Tasks
21
In edit mode, all lookup fields show the lookup button
in the right part of the
field. In view mode, lookup fields with a related main table show as a link (similar
to Internet links).
When typing characters in a lookup field, the value lookup opens automatically
and applies the typed characters as filter on the ID (key field of the relevant table).
In many lookups, the filter also applies to the column Name. If you enter for
example “E” in a lookup field, the lookup form automatically pops up showing all
records starting with “E” in the key field or the name.
If you want to manually open a value lookup, click the lookup button
the shortcut key Alt + Down once the cursor is on the field.
or press
In the lookup form, you can select a record by clicking it, or by pressing the Enter
key once the appropriate line in the lookup is active. If a value lookup contains
multiple lines and you want to reduce the number of displayed lines, you can use
the grid column filter and the sorting options as described in section 2.1.5. In the
example shown in Figure 2-12, you can enter a filter on the bank group name by
clicking the column header field Name in the lookup.
Apart from value lookup, the table reference of fields with a related main table also
provides the option to directly access the detail form of the related main table. If
you want to insert a new bank group in the form shown in Figure 2-12 for example,
you can open the bank group form directly from the Bank group field.
In edit mode, you have to do a right-click on the field label (and not on the field
itself) to open the context menu, where you can choose the option View details to
access the detail form related to a lookup field.
In view mode or in non-editable fields, the table reference displays as a link
providing the option to access the related detail form with a simple mouse click
(alternatively you can right-click the field label and select the View details option).
After opening the referenced detail form, you can edit records the same way as if
accessing from the navigation pane. Apart from using the table reference as an
easy way to insert and edit related data, you can apply it to view the details of
related records – for example directly accessing a sales order from a line in the
invoice inquiry (Accounts receivable> Inquiries and reports> Invoices> Invoice journal).
2.1.4.8 Product Information Dialog
In some forms like the sales order or the purchase order form, selecting the option
View details or clicking the link in the item number field does not show the item
form (released product form), but the product information dialog. This dialog
displays the core data of the item. In many cases, these data are sufficient and you
don’t need to access the details in the released product form. But if you need, click
the link in the field Item number of the dialog to access to released product detail
form.
22
2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
2.1.4.9 Segmented Entry Control
A special kind of lookup applies to ledger account fields, for example in the lines of
financial journals. Since the ledger account is one field with multiple segments (the
main account and applicable financial dimensions), a specific control for the
lookup and data entry applies – the segmented entry control (see section 9.3.2).
2.1.4.10 Message Bar and Message Center
If there is an issue with the operation you are executing in Dynamics AX (e.g. if
you try to delete a record which has got related transactions), an error message
immediately displays in the message bar below the action pane of the form.
If an asynchronous operation (e.g. document posting, or validation, or processing a
batch job) generates an error or warning, the message is sent to the message center.
The button
(Show messages) in the navigation bar then indicates the number of
unread notifications. Clicking this button shows all recent messages, and for
messages with extensive details (e.g. error messages when posting a document)
you can click the link Message details to view more information (see Figure 2-13).
Figure 2-13:
Viewing notifications in the message center
2.1.4.11 New in Dynamics ‘AX 7’
The browser-based user interface has required changes in the form layout. There
are new shortcuts, sliders replace most checkboxes, the value lookup opens
automatically in lookup fields, and the message center replaces the Infolog.
2.1.5
Filtering and Sorting
In order to work efficiently in tables that contain numerous records, it is crucial to
find the records in demand quickly. Dynamics AX includes features for filtering
and sorting in list pages and in detail forms for this purpose.
2.1 User Interface and Common Tasks
23
2.1.5.1 Quick Filter
In list pages, the quick filter is the easiest way to filter records. When entering
characters in the quick filter field, a drop dialog automatically displays where you
can select on which column you want to apply the filter.
Figure 2-14:
Quick filter showing the drop dialog for the filter column
After pressing the Enter key or clicking the search button
on the left-hand side
of the quick filter field, the filter applies and the page only shows records which
begin with the characters entered in the filter field.
Figure 2-14 shows an example for entering a filter in the quick filter. The filter for
customers with a name beginning with the characters “hy” is not yet executed.
2.1.5.2 Filter Pane
The filter pane, which is not only available in list pages but also in detail forms,
provides the option to use multiple filter criteria in parallel.
Figure 2-15:
Filter pane in a list page
In order to show the filter pane in a form, click the filter button
on the left-hand
side or press the shortcut key Ctrl+F3. Then enter the required characters for
filtering in the appropriate filter field of the filter pane. In the operator selection on
24
2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
the right side above the filter field, you can choose whether to apply these
characters with a “begins with”, “contains”, “is one of”, or other operator. If you
want to filter on additional or other fields, click the link Add a filter field in the filter
pane and select the appropriate field. Clicking the button Apply finally applies the
filter.
The operator “matches” for a filter field provides the option to use manual
wildcards and filter expressions as described further below.
If you do not want to apply a selected filter any longer, clear it by clicking the
button Reset in the filter pane.
2.1.5.3 Grid Column Filter
Another option for setting a filter in list pages and other list forms (including value
lookups) is the grid column filter.
Figure 2-16:
Entering a grid column filter in a list page
You can access the grid column filter by clicking the header field of a column in a
grid. In the drop dialog, you can enter the filter in the filter field. The operator
works the same way as described for the filter pane above.
Once the grid column filter is active, you can see the filter icon
particular column header.
next to the
A special feature in the grid column filter is that you can use the asterisk (*)
wildcard together with the “begins with” operator. This provides the option to
enter for example “*ab” in the filter field for filtering on all records containing “ab”
– without the need to change the operator.
2.1.5.4 Advanced Filter
If you have to enter complex filter criteria, you can access the advanced filter in list
pages and in detail forms by pressing the shortcut key Ctrl+Shift+F3 or by clicking
the button OPTIONS/Page options/Advanced Filter/Sort in the action pane.
2.1 User Interface and Common Tasks
25
The advanced filter opens in a separate dialog on the right. Like the filter pane, the
advanced filter provides the option to set a filter on fields which do not show in
the list page or detail form.
If you need to enter a criterion on a field which is not shown in the advanced filter
dialog, insert a record in the filter dialog by pushing the shortcut Alt+N or clicking
the button Add. In the new filter line, enter the criterion in the columns Table,
Derived table, Field and Criteria. The fields Table and Derived table of a new line by
default contain the base table of the filtered page. In case of simple criteria, you
don’t have to change it.
The lookup button
in the column Field opens a value lookup, where you can
select the table field. In the column Criteria next to the column Field, enter the filter
criterion. If the field selected in the filter line is a lookup field, you can open a
value lookup.
Figure 2-17:
Entering filter criteria in the advanced filter dialog
Once you have finished entering the filter criteria, close the advanced filter dialog
by clicking the button OK. The filter then applies and the page only shows
matching records.
2.1.5.5 Filter Expressions
When entering characters in the quick filter field of a list page, Dynamics AX
shows records beginning with these characters.
All other filter options support further filter criteria in order to provide more
precise filtering definitions. The table below shows an overview of the most
important filter expressions:
26
Table 2-1:
Meaning
Equal
2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
Important filter expressions
Sign
Example
Explanation
=
EU
Field content to match “EU”
Not equal
!
!GB
Field content not to match “GB”
Interval
..
1..2
Field content from “1” to “2” (incl.)
Greater
>
>1
Field content more than “1”
Less
<
<2
Field content less than “2”
Connection
,
1,2
Wildcard
*
?
*E*
?B*
Field content to match “1” OR “2”;
Connects “Not equal” (e.g. ”!1,!2”) criteria with AND
Field content containing “E”
First character unknown, followed by a “B”, other
characters unknown
2.1.5.6 Saving a Filter
If you need particular filter criteria frequently, you can save them by clicking the
button Modify/Save as in the advanced filter dialog. A second dialog then requires
entering a filter name.
Saved filters are stored in your Usage data, which means that nobody else can use
your saved filters. In order to select a saved filter, choose it in the lookup of the
field Select query in the advanced filter dialog as shown in Figure 2-18.
In addition to the filters saved manually, the filter which you have used the last
time is available in every page by selecting the option Previously used query in the
Select query lookup.
Figure 2-18:
Selecting a saved filter in the advanced filter dialog
2.1.5.7 Sorting
In addition to the filtering options, the grid column filter in list pages – accessible
by clicking the appropriate column header – provides sorting options. If you open
a detail form after sorting the list page, the detail form will use the sorting selected
in the list page.
2.1 User Interface and Common Tasks
27
Alternatively, you can specify sorting criteria in the advanced filter dialog. The
advanced filter dialog contains the tab Sorting for this purpose, where you can
enter applicable sorting criteria with table name and field name in one or more
lines (similar to a filter criterion).
2.1.5.8 Distinguish Value Lookup
When using a filter, you should not confuse it with the value lookup shown in
section 2.1.4. Whereas the value lookup supports entering a value into a field, the
filter features described here are used to select records from the table displayed in
the grid.
2.1.5.9 New in Dynamics ‘AX 7’
The quick filter, the new filter pane, and the grid column filter in this release
replace the filter by grid and the filter by selection in Dynamics AX 2012.
2.1.6
Help System
If you need help on functional questions, you can access the Microsoft
Dynamics AX Help system available throughout the whole application. In the help
system, there are two areas of help content:
 Wiki articles – Links to public Microsoft help text and videos
 Task guides – From the Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS)
Whereas task guides give a description on how to use Dynamics AX in business
processes, the wiki articles explain standard features and functionality.
Figure 2-19:
Dynamics AX help referring to the customer form
28
2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
Basic parameters for the help system are specified in the system parameters
(System administration> Setup> System parameters, tab Help).
2.1.6.1 Accessing Help
In order to access help, click the button
(Help) in the navigation bar. The help
pane then displays task guides and wikis referring to the particular form (see
Figure 2-19). After switching to the tab Wiki, you can access the help text by
clicking the link to the particular Wiki article which opens in a new browser tab.
The search field at the top of the help pane provides options which are similar to
the features of search engines in the Internet. Abstracts in the search results help to
recognize relevant text easily.
In order to close the help pane, press the Esc key or click the button
the top right of the help pane.
(Close) on
2.1.6.2 Custom Help with Task Guides
Using the task recorder (see section 10.5.3) you can create recordings based on the
business processes in your company. After saving a recording to a Microsoft
Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) Business Process Library, it will be available on
the Task guides tab of the help pane.
2.1.6.3 New in Dynamics ‘AX 7’
The architecture of the help system has completely changed, containing links to
Wikis and task guides instead of the help server. With the Dynamics AX May 2016
update, you can view a short field help if pointing the mouse over a field label
(similar to the AX 2012 help text in the status bar).
2.1.7
Case Study Exercises
Exercise 2.1 – Logon and Navigation
Your first task is to log on to a Dynamics AX training system, where you should
access a company which is different from your default company.
Open the list page All vendors, first through the Accounts payable menu in the
navigation pane, and then through the navigation search. Check if there are
vendors with a name starting with “A”. Next, access the workspace Purchase order
preparation and try to find a vendor with a name starting with “A” from there.
Finally, log out from the Dynamics AX.
Exercise 2.2 – Favorites
Start a client session in Dynamics AX, select the training company, and show the
navigation pane. Add the list page Released products, which you can find in the
menu Product information management, to your favorites. Then open this page from
the favorites.
2.1 User Interface and Common Tasks
29
Exercise 2.3 – Detail Forms
As an example of detail forms in Dynamics AX, access the vendor detail form
through the vendor list page (Accounts payable> Vendors> All vendors). In this form
you want to view the vendor in the third line of the list page. Show an example of a
field group and a lookup field with and without main table.
Then show an example of a slider and a checkbox field. What can you tell about
fast tabs and FactBoxes? How do you proceed if you want to edit the vendor? Is
there an option to edit multiple vendors in this form?
Exercise 2.4 – Inserting Records
Create a new vendor without applying record templates. For the beginning, the
only data for the vendor are the name “##-Exercise 2.4 Inc.” (## = your user ID) and
any vendor group.
Notes: If the number sequence for vendor accounts is set to “Manual”, you have to
enter the vendor number manually. If the Accounts payable parameters require
entering a sales tax group or a tax-exempt number (VAT registration number),
access the tab Invoice and delivery and enter the required information there.
Exercise 2.5 – Lookup Fields
You want to update the vendor of exercise 2.4. Searching a Buyer group in the
lookup of the appropriate field on the tab Miscellaneous details of the vendor form,
you notice that the required group is not available. Create a new buyer group ##-P
(## = your user ID) using the View details option. Then select the new group in your
vendor record.
Exercise 2.6 – Filtering
In order to get some exercise with filtering, enter a few filters in the vendor list
page as given below. Use the quick filter and the grid column filter for the first and
the second filtering task. For the other filtering tasks, use the filter pane and the
advanced filter.
Use following criteria one after the other and clear the filter after each task:




All vendors with a name starting with “T”
All vendors assigned to the vendor group selected in exercise 2.4
All vendors with a name containing “in”
Vendors with a number from US-101 to US-103 or higher than US-108
(use a similar filter if these vendor accounts do not exist)
 Vendors with a number ending with “1” and a name containing “of”
 Vendors with an “e” on the second character of the name
 Vendors with a name not starting with “C”
Once you have finished the filtering tasks given above, open the advanced filter
dialog and select vendors, who do not have Terms of payment “Net 30 days”.
30
2.2
2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
Printing and Reporting
Depending on your requirements, there are several options for viewing and
analyzing data. Apart from printing Dynamics AX standard reports and using the
Microsoft Office integration, you can apply Business Intelligence tools (including
Microsoft Power BI) and the Management Reporter (for financial reports).
2.2.1
Printing of Documents
In Dynamics AX, there are following ways to print documents:
 Browser page printing – Printing any list page or form as a web page using the
printing page features of your browser
 Standard report preview download – Printing a report to the screen (print
preview) and exporting a PDF or Word file from there
 Standard report direct printing – Directly sending a standard report to a local
or network printer
The option of printing Dynamics AX pages from your browser, which works like
printing any other web page, does not require any print setting in Dynamics AX.
Standard reports are formatted documents based on Microsoft SQL Server
Reporting Services (SSRS). When printing a standard report, you can either
download a file from the print preview, or send the document directly to a local or
network printer. If you want to send documents directly to a printer, you have to
configure the Document Reporting Services.
Note: When printing a list page or form, there may be different results depending
on the selected browser (Internet Explorer, Google, Chrome, or other).
2.2.1.1 Document Reporting Services Setup
Document Reporting Services are hosted in Microsoft Azure. If you want to
connect your printers to the Azure services, you have to install the Document
Routing Agent on one or more client computers in your network.
Figure 2-20:
Selecting printers in the Document Routing Agent
2.2 Printing and Reporting
31
In order to install the Document Routing Agent, open the form Organization
administration> Setup> Network printers and click the button OPTIONS/Application/
Download document routing agent installer. After installing the application, open the
Document Routing Agent on your client desktop and click the Settings button in the
toolbar. Enter the Dynamics AX URL (the same URL which you use to access
Dynamics AX in the browser) and the Azure AD Tenant (Domain name of the
Azure Active Directory / Microsoft Office 365 account). Then click the button OK
and the button Sign In. Finally click the button Printers and put a checkmark in
front of the printers which you want to use in Dynamics AX.
In the Dynamics AX network printer form (Organization administration> Setup>
Network printers), you can now view the printers which have been enabled by one
or more Document Routing Agents. Once the form is in edit mode, select the option
“Yes” in the column Active for all printers to be used in the current company.
2.2.1.2 Printing Standard Reports
In each Dynamics AX module, there are standard reports in the folder Inquiries and
reports. In addition, some list pages and detail forms also provide the option to run
a standard report by clicking the appropriate button – e.g. a customer account
statement by clicking the button COLLECT/Customer balances/Statements in the
customer list page (Accounts receivable> Customers> All customers).
In order to explain how to print a report in Dynamics AX, the description below
shows the example of printing a standard report from the menu. After selecting the
menu item, Dynamics AX shows the report dialog where you can enter filter
criteria and print destinations. Figure 2-21 for example shows the report dialog of
the customer list (Accounts receivable> Inquiries and reports> Customers> Customer
report) after a filter on the group “DO” has been entered.
Figure 2-21:
Report dialog for the customer list
Filter criteria are not directly entered in the report dialog, but in a filter dialog
which you can access by clicking the button Filter on the tab Records to include of
the report dialog. The filter dialog for reports works similar to the advanced filter
32
2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
in list pages and detail forms. Apart from entering filter criteria on the tab Range,
you can enter sorting criteria on the tab Sorting. After closing the filter dialog, the
selected filter shows in the report dialog.
The button Change on the tab Destination of the report dialog opens the print
destination settings, where you can select the destination for the printout. Table 2-2
below shows the available options for the print destination.
Table 2-2:
Print destinations for reports
Destination
Print archive
Explanation
Saves the report selection to the print archive
Screen
Shows a report preview on the screen
Printer
Prints the report to the selected printer (available printers are
specified in the network printer form as described above)
File
Saves the report content to a CSV, Excel, HTML, XML, or PDF file
E-mail
Saves the report content to a file and sends it to an e-mail recipient
(the recipient has to be entered manually)
Once you have finished entering the print destination and the filter criteria in the
report dialog, print the report by clicking the button OK in the report dialog. The
settings used when printing the report are automatically stored in the user options.
They show by default when printing the selected report again. You can change the
filter criteria and the print destination as required then.
2.2.1.3 Print Preview
Figure 2-22:
Print preview options
2.2 Printing and Reporting
33
If you select the screen as print destination, Dynamics AX shows a print preview
on the screen. The preview includes following options (see Figure 2-22):
 Scroll [1] between pages by entering the page number (button Go to) or clicking
the button for the first page , previous page , next page , or last page
 Find [2] text in the report
 Zoom [3] in and out
 Refresh [4] the preview in order to retrieve current data
 Export [5] the preview to different file formats including XML, CSV, PDF,
HTML, TIFF, Excel or Word
 Print [6] the preview
 Link [7] which provides access to the detail form for selected fields
2.2.1.4 Print Archive
The print archive allows saving a report within Dynamics AX. You can save to the
archive either by selecting the print archive as print destination in the report dialog
or – if choosing a different print destination – by setting the slider Save in print
archive to “Yes”.
When saving to the archive, the report selection is stored in the print archive which
makes it possible to reprint the report later. If you want to access your print
archive, open the form Common> Inquiries> Print archive. In order to access the print
archives of all users, open the form Organization administration> Inquiries and
reports> Print archive.
2.2.1.5 Post and Print
When posting an external document (e.g. an invoice or a packing slip), you also
want to print the document in most cases. Posting dialogs therefore contain a
parameter for printing the related document – e.g. the slider Print invoice when
posting a sales invoice. The buttons Select (filter selection) and Printer setup (printer
selection) in posting dialogs provide the option to specify filter criteria and print
destinations as described for standard reports above.
In case the printout of a posted document is required at a later date (e.g. if you
have missed to set the slider Print to “Yes” when posting), you can still print it in
the inquiry of the particular posted document. If you want to (re-)print a sales
invoice for example, open the sales invoice journal (Accounts receivable> Inquiries
and reports> Invoices> Invoice journal) and click the button INVOICE/Document/
View/Original preview in the action pane after selecting the invoice.
2.2.1.6 Batch Processing
If you do not need to view the results of a particular report or a periodic activity
immediately, you can switch to the tab Run in the background in the report dialog
and submit the report to a batch process. After setting the slider Batch processing to
34
2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
“Yes” and – if required – selecting a Batch group, specify the starting time and
repetitions for the batch job by clicking the button Recurrence.
Figure 2-23:
Batch processing selection in a report dialog
As a prerequisite for batch processing, at least one batch server has to be set up and
started. You can set up the batch server in the menu item System administration>
Setup> Server configuration. If you want to categorize batch jobs, you can use batch
groups (System administration> Setup> Batch group).
Batch processing is a background process on the batch server, except for client and
private tasks which require running the periodic activity Organization
administration> Periodic> Batch processing on a client.
If you want to check and to edit the status of batch jobs, open the form System
administration> Inquiries> Batch jobs.
2.2.1.7 New in Dynamics ‘AX 7’
As a result of the browser-based interface, the regular printing features of the
browser replace the AX 2012 auto-report features for printing information in
Dynamics AX pages and forms. In addition, the cloud-based architecture requires
the Document Routing Agent for connecting printers to the Azure services.
2.2.2
Microsoft Office Integration
The Microsoft Office integration in Dynamics AX provides an easy way for data
interaction with Microsoft Office. This data interaction includes:
 Static export – Export data from Dynamics AX to Microsoft Excel
 Opening and editing – Update data in Dynamics AX from Microsoft Office
By use of document templates, you can easily create your own Excel workbooks
for editing Dynamics AX data in Excel.
2.2 Printing and Reporting
35
2.2.2.1 Static Export to Excel
The static export to Excel, which provides the option to retrieve data from
Dynamics AX for viewing them in an Excel workbook, is available in most list
pages and detail forms.
As a prerequisite for the static export, open the respective form in Dynamics AX
and select lines for the export by marking the appropriate grid check boxes
leftmost in the grid. Instead of using the grid check boxes, you can also select lines
by clicking them directly in the grid while holding the Ctrl key. The Shift key
selects multiple consecutive lines, and the grid check box in the header line selects
all lines of the grid.
The button Open in Microsoft Office
/ Export to Excel in the action pane of list
pages then provides the option to export the list to Microsoft Excel. Alternatively,
you can right-click in the grid of a list page to open the context menu where you
can choose the option Export all rows or Export marked rows.
Figure 2-24:
Choosing the export location when exporting to Excel
In the export dialog (see Figure 2-24) you can subsequently select whether you
want to download the Excel workbook content to your local computer or if you
want to export to OneDrive or SharePoint using Excel Online.
2.2.2.2 Opening Data in Excel
Unlike the static export, which just retrieves data from Dynamics AX to Excel, the
option Open in Microsoft Office supports updating and inserting data from Excel to
Dynamics AX. It is available in most list pages and detail forms. In order to start
editing data in Excel, open the respective form in Dynamics AX, click the button
(Open in Microsoft Office) in the action pane and select the appropriate option below
the heading Open in Excel. In some forms, for example in the general journals
(General ledger> Journal entries> General journals), there is a dedicated button in the
action pane for opening in Excel.
36
2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
In the Open in Excel dialog you can subsequently select if you want to download
the Excel workbook for working on your local computer or if you want to open it
in OneDrive or SharePoint using Excel Online.
Microsoft Excel then displays the data connector in the task pane, where you have
to sign in with your Azure Active Directory account before retrieving data. In
Excel you can subsequently edit and insert data (button New), also working
temporarily offline in Excel if required.
Clicking the button Refresh in the Excel worksheet retrieves current data from
Dynamics AX, including new lines for new records. In order to transfer data from
Excel to Dynamics AX, click the button Publish. In case incorrect data are going to
be published, an error message in the Excel task pane shows the issue (click the
button at the bottom of the pane to see the details) and prevents the update.
2.2.2.3 Using Document Templates
You can create your own Excel worksheets and use them for updating data in
Dynamics AX if you upload them as document templates.
As a starting point, open the Excel workbook designer (Common> Office integration>
Excel workbook designer) and select the Dynamics AX table for which you want to
create the Excel workbook. Then move the fields you want to include in Excel from
the Available fields pane to the Selected fields. In the next step, click the button Create
workbook in the action pane for downloading the Excel workbook to your computer
or exporting it to OneDrive or SharePoint. After signing in, you can immediately
use the worksheet for updating Dynamics AX data as described above.
If you save the Excel worksheet, you can upload it as document template in order
to make it available as Open in Excel option. Open the document templates
(Common> Office integration> Document templates) for this purpose, click the button
New in the action pane and upload the Excel file which you have saved in the
previous step. The new template then shows as additional option in the button
(Open in Microsoft Office) of the related Dynamics AX form.
2.2.2.4 New in Dynamics ‘AX 7’
As a result of the cloud-based architecture, the AX 2012 Copy/Paste functionality is
not available any more. The Microsoft Office integration has completely changed,
now providing additional options.
2.2.3
Case Study Exercise
Exercise 2.7 – Printing
Print a vendor list (Accounts payable> Inquiries and reports> Vendor reports> Vendors),
selecting a print preview as print destination. Then print the vendor list again,
filtering on any vendor group of your choice and choosing a PDF-file as print
destination.
2.3 Advanced Options
2.3
37
Advanced Options
Before you can log on to Microsoft Dynamics AX, a Dynamics AX user with
appropriate permissions has to be set up for you. In some areas of the application,
a worker record (see section 10.2.2) assigned to your user is required additionally.
2.3.1
User Options and Personalization
Options for personally adjusting the Dynamics AX user interface are available in
the user options. In addition, personalization provides enhanced features for
individually configuring every single form.
2.3.1.1 User Options
The user options are a form controlling core personal settings in Dynamics AX.
You can access your user options by clicking the button
/Options in the
navigation bar (or accessing the menu item Common> Setup> User options) if you
have got appropriate permissions. System administrators can access your user
options from the user management (System administration> Users> Users, button
User options).
Figure 2-25:
Managing preferences in the user options form
Main settings in the user option form as shown in Figure 2-25 include following
preferences for your workspace:








Language – Language of the user interface
Country/region – Default value for country/region when entering an address
Company – Default-company when logging on
Default view/edit mode – Start all detail forms in view mode or in edit mode
Document handling – See section 10.5.1
Sign out after (tab Account) – Minutes of inactivity for closing your session
Visual tab – Color theme and element size
Workflow tab – Settings for workflow management (see section 10.4)
38
2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
2.3.1.2 Usage Data
The button Usage data in the action pane of the user options opens a form, which
shows detailed settings of a user. These settings include filter settings, form
settings, and record templates (user templates), which have been stored
automatically or manually.
In the usage data, you can switch from the tab General to the other tabs if you want
to view the usage data in a particular area. Clicking the button Data after selecting
a usage data record shows the record details. It is not possible to modify usage
data, but you can delete usage data records by clicking the button Delete or
pressing the shortcut key Alt+F9. Clicking the button Reset on the tab General
deletes all your usage data.
2.3.1.3 Setup for Personalization
Apart from modifications in the development environment, which apply to all
users, changes of the user interface in list pages and forms are also possible at
personal level. For this purpose, each user with appropriate permissions in
Dynamics AX can adjust forms according to his personal requirements.
The personalization setup (System administration> Setup> Personalization) contains
settings whether personalization is allowed. On the tab Users, you can override the
general setting specified on the tab System. In addition, you can export and import
personalizations on the Users tab.
2.3.1.4 Implicit Personalization
In list pages and the grid of other forms, you change the width of columns with
your mouse (drag and drop in the header column). Dynamics AX also remembers
the settings for showing the full action pane, the fast tabs, and the FactBoxes per
page in your personalization.
2.3.1.5 Explicit Personalization
If you need enhanced options to adjust a form according to your personal
preferences, you can use the element personalization window and the
personalization toolbar. These options are available in every list page, detail form,
workspace, and dashboard.
In order to access the element personalization window, right-click an element (e.g.
a field shown in a list page) and choose the option Personalize in the context menu.
The personalization window then provides the option to override several standard
settings – for example by entering a personal field label, hiding the element, or
preventing to edit the field content.
The personalization toolbar, which you can access by clicking the link Personalize
this form in the element personalization window or by clicking the button
OPTIONS/Personalize/Personalize this form in the action pane, provides additional
options.
2.3 Advanced Options
Figure 2-26:
39
Element personalization window and personalization toolbar in a list page
In the personalization toolbar, you can personalize the form by clicking the
appropriate button, and then selecting the field or other element to which you
want to apply the selected action. Options in the personalization toolbar include
Select (shows the element personalization window as described above), Move
(change the location of an element), Hide , Summary (in detail forms, shows the
field as summary field on the fast tab), Skip
(skip in the tab sequence), Edit
(prevents editing), and Add (add a table field to display in the form). If you add
a field, you have to select the page area where you want to add the field before a
dialog shows where you can select one or multiple table fields.
Settings in the personalization apply immediately. The button Manage in the
personalization toolbar provides the option to reset the form to the standard layout
(button Manage/Clear) and to export or import the personalization.
Apart from changing the layout of a form, personalization includes the option to
add a list page to a workspace by clicking the button OPTIONS/Personalize/Add to
workspace in the action pane. After selecting the appropriate Workspace and the
Presentation (tile or list) you have to click the button Configure and to select some
options in a subsequent dialog. When you are finished, the list page shows as
additional list or tile in the selected – now personalized – workspace.
In the workspace, the element personalization window for tiles includes the
additional option to pin a tile to the dashboard. If you select this option, the
dashboard shows the selected form which means that you can directly access it
from the dashboard.
2.3.1.6 New in Dynamics ‘AX 7’
The browser-based user interface has required a completely new personalization
functionality. The new personalization only stores changes to the standard, making
it possible to keep personalization even if there are modifications or AX updates.
2.3.2
Record Information and Templates
The record information dialog in Dynamics AX provides access to data and to
general features not directly shown in a particular list page or detail form.
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2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
2.3.2.1 Options in the Record Information Dialog
After selecting a record, you can open the record information dialog in a list page
or detail form by clicking the button OPTIONS/Page options/Record info.
The Record information dialog provides following options for the selected record:




Rename key field – Agree with system administration before using this option
Show all fields and Database log – Information on the selected record
Script – Create an insert script
Company accounts template and User template – Create a record template
Note: Depending on your permissions and the Dynamics AX configuration, some
options might not be available.
Figure 2-27:
The record information dialog in the vendor detail form
2.3.2.2 Renaming
You can rename the key field of a record by clicking the button Rename in the
record information dialog. Renaming then opens a second dialog for entering the
new field content.
Processing a request for renaming may be a time-consuming activity, because
Dynamics AX has to update all references. If you want to modify a vendor number
for example, the update does not only include the vendor table itself, but also the
vendor transactions, the purchase orders, and all other tables which contain the
vendor number. You have to take into account, that references are only updated
2.3 Advanced Options
41
within Dynamics AX. Other applications and external partners like customers or
vendors have to receive the appropriate information separately.
Renaming therefore is an exceptional activity, usually with restricted access
secured by appropriate permission settings.
2.3.2.3 Show All Fields and Database Log
The button Show all fields in the record information dialog displays the content of
all fields of the selected record. Choose this option if you want to know the content
of fields not shown in a particular list page or detail form.
The button Database log in the record information dialog shows a log file of all
changes to the selected record. As a prerequisite, logging for the particular table
has to be enabled in the form System administration> Setup> Database log setup or in
the development environment.
2.3.2.4 Record Templates
Record templates help creating new records by copying the content of fields from a
template created before. As an example, it might be useful to set up a different
template in the vendor table for domestic vendors and for foreign vendors, which
initialize the record with correct posting groups when creating a new vendor.
When working with record templates, you have to distinguish between two types
of templates:
 User templates – Only available to the current user
 Company accounts templates – Available to all users
A user template is only available to the user who has created it. You can create a
user template by clicking the button User template in the record information dialog.
A second dialog then opens where you enter the name and a short description of
the template. The template then is a copy of the record which you have selected
when opening the record information dialog.
User templates are stored in your usage data, where it is not possible to modify
them later. If a user template is not required any more, you can delete it in the
usage data (button /Options in the navigation bar> button Usage data> tab Record
templates). Alternatively, you can delete a user template by pressing the shortcut
key Alt+F9 in the template selection dialog as shown in Figure 2-28.
Unlike user templates, company accounts templates are available to all users. You
can create a company accounts template by clicking the button Company accounts
template in the record information dialog.
If you want to access a company accounts template later, open the form Common>
Setup> Record templates. On the tab Overview of the record templates form, select the
table to which the template belongs. Then switch to the tab Templates where you
can view and delete the system template.
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2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
Figure 2-28:
Selecting a template in the template dialog
If there are templates for a table, they display in a template selection dialog when
inserting a new record in the particular table. Figure 2-28 for example shows the
dialog displayed when creating a new vendor in the vendor detail form (Accounts
payable> Vendors> All vendors) once there is a vendor template.
In the template dialog, select the appropriate template and click the button OK.
Company account templates show the icon
whereas user templates show the
icon . In the far right column, you can optionally select one line to make it the
default template. If you set the slider Do not ask again at the bottom of the template
dialog to “Yes”, Dynamics AX applies the default template without showing the
dialog when inserting further records. If you want to show the template dialog
when creating new records again, click the button Show template selection which
then displays in the record information dialog.
2.3.3
Case Study Exercises
Exercise 2.8 – User Options
You want to access your user options in order to check your user name and e-mail
address. In the visual options, select the high-contrast color theme and a small
element size. The training company should be the Start company accounts when
logging in to Dynamics AX the next time.
Exercise 2.9 – Record Templates
Create a new user template based on the vendor which you have entered in
exercise 2.4. In order to learn how to use templates, insert a new vendor applying
this template afterwards.
2.4 Global Address Book
2.4
43
Global Address Book
Dynamics AX contains a common table for all business partners of your enterprise
– internal and external relationships, companies and persons. This common table is
the global address book, using the label “parties” for the business partners. Parties
in the global address book are shared across companies and include customers,
sales leads, vendors, organization units, employees, and other contacts.
2.4.1
Party and Address
When creating a new customer, vendor, or any other kind of party, Dynamics AX
inserts a record in the global address book. A party may contain one or more
(postal) addresses and contact information data. A party therefore is not the same
as an address – a party is an organization or person characterized by its name.
Figure 2-29:
Managing a party with multiple addresses in the party detail form
Depending on permission settings, you can access all parties in the global address
book (Common> Common> Global address book). The party detail form accessed from
the global address book shows details like name, addresses, and contact data.
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2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
2.4.1.1 Creating Parties in the Global Address Book
You can insert a new party directly in the global address book by clicking the
button New in the action pane. In the new party record, the Party ID usually
derives from the appropriate number sequence. The lookup field Type, which
contains the alternative options “Organization” and “Person”, controls the fields
which display in the party form (e.g. showing the field First name only for persons).
After entering the party name in the field Name (for an organization) or in the
fields First name and Last name (for a person), you can enter additional data. These
data include the postal address on the tab Addresses and contact data like e-mail
addresses and phone numbers on the tab Contact information. Section 3.2.1 shows –
on the example of the vendor management – in more detail how to manage postal
addresses and contact information.
2.4.1.2 Indirectly Creating Parties
Apart from directly creating a party in the global address book, you can also create
a party indirectly by entering a customer, a vendor, or any other kind of party in
any module.
In forms indirectly creating parties, the field Name is a lookup providing the option
to search an existing party. If you select an existing party in this lookup, the party
receives an additional role. If you do not select an existing party, but type a new
name, Dynamics AX automatically creates a new party with this name.
If you insert a new customer in the customer form (Accounts receivable> Customers>
All customers) for example, a new party is created in case you type a name in the
lookup field Name of the Create dialog. If you select an existing party in the lookup
field Name, the new role “Customer” is assigned to the party.
Since a party may already exist in the global address book (e.g. a customer being a
vendor in your own or an affiliated company within a common Dynamics AX
database), you should – in order to avoid duplicate parties – check existing parties
before creating a new party record. In case the duplicate check is activated in the
global address book parameters and you enter a duplicate party anyhow, a
confirmation dialog shows the existing record before saving the new party.
2.4.1.3 Internal Organizations
Apart from external parties (organizations and persons), internal organizations like
operating units and legal entities (see section 10.1.2) are also parties in the global
address book. You can recognize internal organizations by the Type (e.g. “Legal
entities”). Party types reserved for internal organizations are not available when
manually inserting a party directly in the global address book.
2.4 Global Address Book
2.4.2
45
Address Book
An address book is a collection of party records. You can set up one or more
address books in the form Organization administration> Global address book> Address
books, e.g. one for sales and one for purchasing.
The global address book is the collection of all parties in all companies of a
Dynamics AX system (see Figure 2-30).
In order to link a party to one or more address books, put a checkmark in front of
the address books which display in the lookup of the field Address books on the tab
General of the party detail form.
Figure 2-30:
Conceptual structure of the global address book
You can use address books for filtering addresses – e.g. using the filter field
Address books in the global address book list page – and as a basis for security
settings in the extensible data security framework.
2.4.2.1 Roles
A role (e.g. “Vendor” or “Customer”) describes the relationship between a party
and your enterprise. A party can refer to one or more roles in one or more
companies. There are two ways of assigning a role to a party:
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2 Getting Started: Navigation and General Options
 Indirectly – Entering a record in other areas like the customer list page
automatically creates a party with the appropriate role.
 Directly – Clicking an appropriate button in the action pane of the global
address book (e.g. PARTY/New/Customer) after selecting a party creates a record
in the selected area (e.g. customer record) and assigns the related role.
The roles of a party are shown on the tab Roles of the party detail form.
2.4.2.2 Address Book Parameters
If the duplicate check is activated in the global address book parameters
(Organization administration> Global address book> Global address book parameters,
slider Use duplicate check), a dialog shows duplicate party records whenever you try
to create a party (directly or indirectly) with the name of an already existing party.
In the dialog you can choose whether to use the existing party or to create a new
party, which by chance has got the same name as the existing party.
Other global address book parameters include the default party type
(“Organization” or “Person”) and the name sequence for persons (first/last name).
Settings regarding the format of postal addresses and available ZIP/postal codes or
cities are specified in the address setup (Organization administration> Global address
book> Addresses> Address setup).
2.4.3
Case Study Exercise
Exercise 2.10 – Global Address Book
In order to learn the functionality of the global address book, check if you can find
the party record of your vendor from exercise 2.4.
The next task is to insert a new party in the global address book. Fields to be
entered include the name “##-Exercise 2.10” (## = your user ID) and a postal
address in London. The new party becomes a vendor in your company. What do
you do in Dynamics AX?
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